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The Power of Comparisons

Recently, I had the good fortune of crossing paths with this thought-provoking quote from the Dalai Lama.

What I love about this piece is how each idea is in alignment with the rise and fall of our breath — positive statement inhale, negative exhale. Breathe as you read, give it a try...

"We have bigger houses, but smaller families:

We have more degrees, but less sense;

more knowledge, but less judgement;

more experts, but more problems;

more medicines, but less healthiness.

We've been all the way to the moon and back,

but we have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.

We build more computers to hold more information,

to produce more copies than ever,

but we have less communication.

We have become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are times of fast foods, but slow digestion;

tall man, but short character;

steep profits, but shallow relationships.

It is a time when there is much in the window,

but nothing in the room."

The Dalai Lama's words are like a one minute meditation. One idea contrasts the images of large against small as he paints a visual picture to illustrate the deeper emotional meaning.

As storytellers simple comparisons reinforce our message and allow us to share our story in fresh and unexpected ways. When we leave blank spaces — room to breathe, really — we not only change the pace of our speech, but we also encourage the audience to experience the deeper meaning beneath the words.

The contrast of opposites fosters listening — listening not only to the speaker's story, but most importantly it can be a window into our own beliefs.


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